NDPP-BJP set to form govt in Nagaland, NPF still expecting turnaround from ‘ally BJP’

Nagaland Election 2018 Updated: Mar 05, 2018 23:56 IST

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party leader Neiphiu Rio (4th from left) with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav and NDPP-BJP state officials pose with Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya at Raj Bhavan, in Kohima on Sunday. (PTI Photo)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) are set to form the next government in Nagaland on March 8, with home minister Rajnath Singh expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

“The modalities of the alliance government have been finalised. We are waiting for a confirmation from the Prime Minister’s Office which date would be convenient for him to attend the swearing-in,” Abu Metha, secretary general of the NDPP, said after senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP general secretary Ajay Jamwal met with Neiphiu Rio, the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate, in Kohima.

The BJP-NDPP alliance has the support of 32 MLAs in the 60-member assembly. BJP Nagaland unit president V Lhoungu said the party’s MLAs decided to go with the pre-poll alliance partner, the NDPP, during a meeting in Dimapur on Sunday evening.

The legislators were scheduled to meet in Dimapur again late Monday evening to select the legislative party leader. Central observer and Union minister JP Nadda, BJP’s in-charge for the state, is likely to attend the meeting, according to party leaders.

NDPP MLAs met on Monday and elected Rio as the leader of the legislative party. A letter in this regard was submitted to Governor PB Acharya. BJP leaders are likely to meet the governor on Tuesday and submit a letter expressing support to the NDPP.

Meanwhile, the Naga People’s Front (NPF), part of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), is hopeful that its old friend, the BJP, will leave NDPP to form the government in Kohima with 26 NPF legislators.

“We helped the BJP in Manipur when they needed four MLAs to form the government. Now, they should help the NPF, which is also the single largest party,” says Achumbemo Kikon, party’s spokesperson.

Asked why outgoing chief minister TR Zeliang, who was scheduled to travel to New Delhi to meet the BJP leadership, cancelled his visit, Kikon said, “NPF is not desperate. We don’t need to run around.”

Kikon, in line with the noises the NPP leaders have been making since the results came out, stressed on how an alliance with the NPF would be more stable since it has the numbers.

With 12 MLAs in a hung House, the BJP is clearly spoilt for choices in Nagaland. It is also not seemingly worried about four NPF MLAs in Manipur, who are supporting its government there.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 23:36 IST